November 12, 2009 Subject:
Of important historic interest
This was one of the first #1 records in the United States, according to Joel Whitburn of Billboard fame. The sound quality is fine for a cylinder, minor scratches. And since this is a recording directed by Sousa himself, it shows how the composer directed his own music. I find it fascinating that this is slower than we usually hear it today. Usually pieces were sped up a little so one knew the work would definitely fit on the cylinder. I think that's an important interpretation point for current musicians: the composer himself, even when put under a time stress, took this march at a less "peppy" tempo than we currently expect.